Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Dear Blogoverse,

I have not forgotten you, I just work so much I never cook anymore. Its driving me crazy but soon I will start this back up again. Gimmie like, a week.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Lemon Garlic Brussel Sprouts

Recently I had a very intense craving for brussel sprouts. I had only had them once before, but I remembered them being delicious. After about a week of constant sprout contemplation I finally got my hands on some and set to work.


-Roughly 1 lb of Brussel Sprouts
-the juice of 1 Lemon
-1 or 2 Garlic Cloves, grated or minced fine
-2 Tbsp Olive Oil
-1 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp pepper
-1/2 tsp mustard (optional. It helps emulsify the dressing so it doesn't seperate and stays on a little better.)

Set your oven for 400 degrees.

In a large bowl mix the lemon juice, garlic, mustard, salt and pepper. Whisk vigorously while drizzling in the olive oil.

After washing your brussel sprouts and pulling off any bruised or otherwise icky outer leaves, cut them into quarters.

Toss the sprouts in the dressing until well coated and then transfer them to a baking sheet and arrange them in a single layer.

Bake for about 10 minutes or until they're a nice crunchy brown.


Monday, March 23, 2009

Sesame Tofu

Sesame Tofu is my OTHER favorite Chinese food. This was actually my first time making it and I'm impressed with how accurate it was, considering I was winging it.

1 block tofu, pressed.
enough vegetable oil for 1/4" deep in your pan.
1-2 Tbsp sesame seeds
2 Tbsp sliced scallions (optional)

2 Tbsp ground flax seed
4 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1/4 c water

1/3 c maple syrup
4 T soysauce or braggs. I used half and half.
2 Tbsp ginger
3 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp sesame oil
2 1/2 Tbsp rice vinegar
1/4 c water
1 Tbsp cornstarch

Step 1:
Mix your batter. It should be like thin pancake batter.
While your vegetable oil is heating up over medium high, slice your tofu into squares.
Dunk them in the batter and lay them in the hot oil. Remember to lay them away from you, so you don't splash yourself with hot oil.
The batter wont turn golden brown, it will just get crispy. Fry the tofu for about a minute and a half per side.
I apologize for the lack of pictures, but expensive camera + batter + hot oil = disaster so...

Step 2:
In a tablespoon of reserved fry oil, fry the ginger and garlic. Careful not to burn the garlic or it will get bitter.
When they are soft, add the soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil and maple syrup.
Stir water and cornstarch into a slurry and add to sauce.
Bring to a boil and allow to thicken.

Toss the tofu with the sauce and sprinkle with sesame seeds and garnish with scallions. Serve over rice and broccoli.


Broccoli and Tofu with Brown Sauce

I love Chinese food. Its greasy, delicious and you eat it with sticks. Broccoli with brown sauce has always been a favorite of mine, but sadly a lot of places make it with oyster sauce which is not vegan. Super sad face, I know!

BUT there is a bright side! Its actually really easy to make at home, plus no MSG headache!

4 cups broccoli
1 block tofu, pressed.
vegetable oil

2 c broth or water
3 cloves garlic, minced (feel free to use less garlic, but I'm a fiend. I even have a garlic tattoo. Yes really.)
1 Tbsp ginger
1/4 c soy sauce or braggs
1 1/2 Tbsp corn starch
1/4 c sugar


Step 1:
If you are using a steel pan, sprinkle salt into your dry pan and heat on medium high. This will stop your tofu from sticking and causing a disaster. It also seasons the tofu, which is a nice bonus.
If you're using teflon, pour in your oil before you start heating your pan. You never want to heat a teflon pan when its dry. Chemicals and whatnot. blegh.

Step 2:
Heat up enough vegetable oil so that its 1/4" deep.
Fry your tofu for about 3 minutes per side, or until they're crispy. Unless you like gooey fu, in which case, don't cook it as long. I'm a crispy kind of gal so I like to make it golden. Remember that if your oil isn't hot enough, or if you crowd the pan, you'll get greasy tofu which is no fun.
When both sides are cooked, place them on a paper bag or a draining rack with paper towels to soak up the excess oil.
I took a bite for um...demonstration reasons. It was delicious.

Now is a good time to break up your broccoli.

Step 3:
mix your soy sauce, cornstarch and sugar.

Step 4:
Drain off the remaining oil**, leaving a little to fry the garlic and ginger on medium heat. Careful not to burn the garlic or it will get bitter. I burned the garlic because I was taking pictures. oops.
Once the garlic and ginger are soft, add the broth and soysauce mix.

**I'd suggest doing so into an empty coffee can or another metal pan. Don't pour it into anything that will melt or explode.

Depending on how cooked you like your broccoli, you may blanch or steam your broccoli before adding it to the sauce. If you do blanch your veg, make sure you drain it really well or the sauce will get watery. I found that out the hard way.
I steamed my broccoli this time but I found that it ended up overcooked. I usually prefer my broccoli practically raw though, so its all up to you.


Serve over rice, or in my case, rice noodles.
This could serve 3 normal people or 2 really hungry people and a Squidgy.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Chocolate Filled Scones

These were supposed to be chocolate chip scones, but somewhere along the line I forgot about the chocolate and ended up looking at chocolateless scone dough and a pile of chocolate chunks. The solution was clear and huzzah happy mistakes! The scones themselves are slightly less sweet than traditional scones, which blends really nicely with the sweetness of the chocolate.


2 c flour
3 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
6 Tbsp vegan margarine (I use earth balance brand)
1 1/2 c chocolate chips
1/3 c "milk" (I used soymilk but any milk alternative will work)
2 flax eggs: 2 Tbsp ground flax, 6 Tbsp water, 1 Tbsp oil

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Step 1:

mix flour, baking soda and salt in a big bowl. I sift them together but its not vital.

Step 2:
Mix together your flax eggs, milk and sugar

Step 3:
cut in* your "butter". You want the mix to be the texture of breadcrumbs.
If you're making chocolate chip scones instead of chocolate filled scones, now would be a good time to throw in your chocolate chips.

*you're essentially cutting the butter into teeny teeny pieces so that little tiny balls of butter are surrounded by flour. This means when it bakes, all those tiny balls of butter melt and make it all flaky and delicious. I just use a fork to mash up the butter with the flour. Try and keep your butter cold or it will just make a gooey mess instead of cutting in properly.

Step 4:
Mix till it forms a dough, then turn out onto a floured surface.
Knead it for 15 seconds and roll it into a 2" thick circle.

Step 5:Photobucket
Use a pizza cutter to cut the circle into 8 triangles.

Step 6:
pile your chocolate on the biggest part of the triangle then fold the little corner up...
then pinch the seams closed. You want to make sure there are no holes or else the chocolate will leak out and be messy.
If you're into that kind of thing, feel free to sprinkle some sugar on top before baking.

Squidgy reigns over his scone kingdom.

Step 7: Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the top is lightly browned. Don't let them get too brown or they'll be hard and dry, which is no fun.

Let them cool for a few minutes before you eat them because that chocolate is nuclear straight out of the oven and you will burn your face off. I've seen it happen.


Vegan Waffles, not as hard as you think

I figure the best way to kick off this blog is with waffles.
Previous to this it had been 8 years since my vegan boyfriend had eaten a waffle. 8 YEARS!
Of course as soon as Squidgy heard such a thing he knew we had to help.


2 cups Flour*
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
2 tsp Sugar
2 cups milk alternative (I used soymilk)
2 Tbsp Ground Flax seed + 3Tbsp Water + 2 Tbsp oil**
1 Tbsp melted vegan margarine

spray oil for the waffle iron

*You can use whole wheat flour if you would like to, but additional liquid might be needed. Also, try not to stir the mix too much as WW flour has a lot of gluten and it will make the waffles tough.
**this is a standard recipe for 2 flax "eggs". You may omit the oil if you'd like, but I feel it helps add to the eggyness. Its my favorite egg replacement to use in baking as it adds omega 3s and a nutty flavor, plus mimics the effects of egg very well.

Before you start, get your waffle iron heating. You want to make sure its at full heat before putting anything in it and remember to keep the iron closed as much as possible.

Step 1:
Mix up flax "eggs" in a smallish bowl.

Step 2:
In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt.

Step 3:
Add the milk and sugar (not shown) to the flax eggs and mix.
I kept the butter separate only because the butter was hot and I didn't want it to make the flax eggs funny, which I'm not even sure would happen. You can choose to add the butter in with the milk mixture and I'm sure it will be fine.

Step 4:
Pour the wet into the dry. Give me a dirty look because I grabbed a spoonula instead of a whisk.

Step 5:
Whisk together, but try to keep mixing to a minimum. If you over mix the glutens in the flour tighten up and then your waffles are tough. I try to stir just until it comes together and there are no big lumps of anything. You want the batter slightly thicker than pancake batter (unless you're one for thick pancakes, then I'd say about the same) but not so thick that it wont spread. If it seems too thick just add a little bit of milk or water (only add a Tbsp at a time. You can always add more but you can't take it out.)

Step 6:
Spray your waffle iron with just a light coating of oil. The amount of batter you use depends on your waffle iron. I have a Belgian waffle iron so it takes me a lot of batter. The best part about waffles is if you use too little, its not a problem. Try to avoid over filling the iron though or else you get that drippy mess thing happening and thats no fun to clean up.

I totally blanked out and forgot to take pictures of the actual cooking of the waffles, I'm sorry.

Once you put the waffle batter in and close the lid, LEAVE IT ALONE. Don't poke it, don't lift the lid, dont fiddle with it. Some waffle irons have a little light that goes on when its hot and ready and that then goes off when the waffle is finished. If your waffle iron doesn't have that, look for steam escaping from the sides of the iron. Once the steam stops, the waffle is done.

Crunchy outside, eggy soft inside? woohoo!

My waffles might seem pale, but thats because I took them out a little early so I could freeze them.
YES YOU CAN MAKE YOUR OWN FREEZER WAFFLES! I only make waffles every once in a while so when I do I make extra and freeze them. Just cool them on a rack or a baking sheet and when they're totally room temperature (THIS IS IMPORTANT! If you put them in the freezer while still hot, the steam will form condensation and ice happens and then freezerburn blah blah yuck) then stick them in a plastic zippy bag and throw them in the freezer. Pop it in the toaster later and BOOM WAFFLES ANYTIME!

I apologize for the photo quality, its a new (to me) camera and I'm still figuring out its ways. Not to mention the lighting in my kitchen is awful.

Anyone have suggestions on how to make fluorescent lighting less atrocious?